Are You Doing A Million Things While Eating? Read Why Mindfully Eating Can Be The Most Positive Change You Make!
Multi-tasking has become the norm, especially at the dinner table. It’s rare that we take time to do one thing and focus on it and eating is certainly no exception. While eating are you simultaneously checking your email, on the phone or watching TV? Are you doing more then one of these things while eating and barely paying attention to the food in front of you?
If you are someone who is eating but doing a bunch of other things at the same time, try to start a new ritual of eating your food and doing nothing else, not even checking for text messages or signing on to Facebook for a quick peak. Allow and take time for your brain to register that you’ve received nourishment as hunger isn’t the only thing that influences how much we eat during the day, attention and memory also play roles in eating. For example, after you start eating, it takes 20 minutes or so before the brain begins to start sending out “I’m full” or “I’m not hungry anymore” signals that turn off appetite. If you are not paying attention, it’s easy to take in many more calories than you need in 20 minutes!
One interesting study divided people into two groups. One group was distracted and playing solitaire while eating lunch and the other group ate the same lunch without any distractions. The study’s findings showed that distraction made a significant impact on the eating experience. The group playing solitaire reported that they ate faster, couldn’t remember what they ate, ate more snacks throughout the day and reported feeling significantly less full.
Mindful eating begins with chewing your food slowly and tasting and savouring the flavours and the food that you are eating. Think about what you are eating and be in gratitude for the wonderful food you are able to eat. Be in the moment and really take in what you are doing, as this will help your brain really register that you are eating.
Make it a point to slow down while eating and to put away any distractions that can take away from eating mindfully. If mindful eating is new to you, feel free to start gradually. Eat one meal a day in a slower, more attentive manner without any distractions - this can make all the difference in the world!